GALAX GeForce GTX 970 HOF (Hall of Fame) Edition 4GB Graphic Card Review

“The HOF” is here, nope it has nothing to do with David Hasselhoff. For those of you who are familiar with the PC component enthusiasts market, you probably have heard of HOF one way or another. It’s the name for the highest grade products from GALAX (formerly Galaxytech).

GALAX GeForce GTX 970 HOF (Hall of Fame) Edition 4GB Graphic Card Review

A stunning looking card, isn’t it? The white shroud covering the graphic card, right out of the box I thought it was a 3 PCI-E unit. It covers around 2.5 PCI-E but with the backplate and huge cooling system shroud it comes to around 3 PCI-E worth of thickness.

Before, that here’s the packaging for the GTX 970 HOF which is nothing spectacular.

GALAX GeForce GTX 970 HOF (Hall of Fame) Edition 4GB Graphic Card Review

Here’s the package content, you can see that the card occupies a very small area.

GALAX GeForce GTX 970 HOF (Hall of Fame) Edition 4GB Graphic Card Review

The package contents are
– 1x Graphics Card
– Quick Installation Guide
– User Manual
– 2x 8-pin PCI power converter
– 1 x DVI to VGA

Good to see that it still comes with a DVI port, the display output connectors are Dual Link DVI x1, HDMI x1, DisplayPort 1.2 x3.

More details at the official product page.

It’s a sleek looking card with HALL OF FAME written on the shroud, the text is backlit and is customizable.

GALAX GeForce GTX 970 HOF (Hall of Fame) Edition 4GB Graphic Card Review

Here’s the view from the bottom. While the heatsink comes with 7 heatpipes, none of them are visible on the card which I think makes it look elegant.

GALAX GeForce GTX 970 HOF (Hall of Fame) Edition 4GB Graphic Card Review

The GTX 970 HOF comes with a neat anodised aluminum silver-colored backplate to reinforce PCB and provide compoonent protection. 🙂

GALAX GeForce GTX 970 HOF (Hall of Fame) Edition 4GB Graphic Card Review

It’s a beautiful looking card, white colored PCB made from 10 layer manufacturing process and extended width for optimized layout and cleaner signal. The single piece of heatsink over the RAM chips. The card comes with Integrated MOSFET heatsink, 8 phase GPU + 2 phase memory power, IR3555 with next gen DrMOS and 60A output

GALAX GeForce GTX 970 HOF (Hall of Fame) Edition 4GB Graphic Card Review

It also has Hyper Boost technology acts like a hardware turbocharger, increasing fan speed and maximum power delivered to the GPU with the push of a button, it comes with voltage tool (to go beyond limit), hardware dual-BIOS as well.

And of course before we reach the benchmarks, here’s the GPU-Z.

GALAX GeForce GTX 970 HOF (Hall of Fame) Edition 4GB Graphic Card Review

Test Setup

Processor Intel Core i5-4670K
RAM Kingston HyperX 2x 4GB DDR3 2400Mhz Kit
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z97X Gaming 3
Cooler NZXT Kraken X31
Monitor Dell U2414H
Power Supply FSP AURUM S 600W
Casing NZXT S340
Operating System Windows 8 Pro 64bit

Overclocking

GALAX’s HOF range of products were clearly made for overclocking with so many features on the board. It would be a great loss if I didn’t experience the overclocking of the HOF BUT it is unfortunate that the Xtreme Tuner Plus software from GALAX is just plain horrible to use, regardless of the great description on the download page.

My choice of overclocking software are EVGA Precision and MSI Afterburner, for this overclock I’m using the EVGA Precision and I managed to gain an additional 125Mhz for CORE and 550Mhz for Memory, pushing it over 4000Mhz reading.

GALAX GeForce GTX 970 HOF (Hall of Fame) Edition 4GB Graphic Card Review

Benchmark

Here we go!

Unigine Heaven 4.0

Heaven 4.0

Card 1080p (avg)
GALAX GTX 970 HOF 83.1
GALAX GTX 970 HOF Overclocked 93.1
ASUS STRIX GTX 970 77.2
GALAX GTX 960 46.3
HIS Radeon R9 285 50.4
Sapphire Radeon R9 280X 58.4

Metro Last Light

Heaven 4.0

Card 1080p (avg)
GALAX GTX 970 HOF 86.5
GALAX GTX 970 HOF Overclocked FAILED
ASUS STRIX GTX 970 78.5
GALAX GTX 960 56.5
HIS Radeon R9 285 53.0
Sapphire Radeon R9 280X 55.0

Bioshock Infinite

Settings are at
2 – UltraDX11_DDOF | 2 – Custom | 1 – 16:9 | 4 – 1920×1080

GALAX GTX 970 HOF 118.23
GALAX GTX 970 HOF Overclocked 129.02
ASUS STRIX GTX 970 114.07
GALAX GTX 960 73.29
HIS Radeon R9 285 85.82
Sapphire Radeon R9 280X 82.03

PERFORMANCE SUMMARY : The card is the fastest GTX 970 that I’ve tested and it’s even faster with the overclock. Sure, it failed the Metro : Last Light test but 2 out of 3 is good enough to show the potential of the card.

Temperature

Furmark Burn-in Test was used to stress the card. Fan settings are at Auto. Room set to ~25c.

Below is the full load details.

Card Idle(°C) Load (°C)
GALAX GTX 970 HOF 38 72
GALAX GTX 970 HOF Full RPM 35 64

The cooling system is superb, that’s for sure.

Power Consumption

Here’s what the power draw of the card is like. Power consumption reading was taken from the watt-meter, actual power draw by the entire system from the wall point. Seeing that it’s a 90% power efficient PSU that I’m using on the rig, the actual power draw will be estimated on the right most column.

The GALAX GTX 970 HOF is reported to be at consume 150W (based on nVidia specs) but bear in mind that the GTX 970 HOF has 2x 8-pin PCI-E connector so it could actually draw A LOT more than 150w.

Card GTX 960
Wattage
GTX 960
Estimated Draw
Furmark Burn-in 300 270
Unigine Heaven 4.0 260 234
Idle 50 45
Idle without GPU 36 33
Estimated
Card Power Draw
189

The Verdict

The GALAX GeForce GTX 970 HOF (Hall of Fame) Edition retails at RM 1649, making it the most expensive GTX 970 to date and it’s an RM 500 premium for the reference cooled GTX 970 of other brands – wowzers that’s a whole lot of moolah there!

What you get is a premium grade product with super awesome cooling system, the joy of overclocking (reference cards could barely be pushed!) and of course, 3-years warranty. It’s a great card, that’s for sure but as to whether one thinks it’s justified to pay RM 500 premium to own a superior product of a same range, that’s entirely up to you.

goldfries recommended

Now if only GALAX could make their software as good as their graphic card.

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